TOP scorer Padraig Amond believes Newport County AFC have given themselves a platform to push for promotion next season.

The Irishman netted his 15th goal of the season to earn County a point at Carlisle United and ensure that they ended the season in 11th place in League Two.

That is a big improvement a year on from completing the Great Escape from relegation on the final day of last season.

And Amond is convinced that the Exiles can sustain a play-off bid next season.

“It’s been a decent year for us,” said the 30-year-old front man. “You’ve seen in patches this year how good we can be.

“We’ve had a good season. It could have been a little bit better but we’ve had a good cup run and a top-half finish and people would have snapped your hand off for that at the beginning of the season.

“As players we’re a little bit disappointed but when you step back and look at it we can be proud of our efforts over the whole season.

“There’s only once or twice we’ve let ourselves down over the course of 56 games.

“We’ve left everything out on the pitch for the majority of games this season and you have to be happy with that.”

A run of just one win in 12 league matches between January 23 and April 7 saw County’s play-off bid falter and they eventually finished 11 points off the top seven in 11th place.

“We had a difficult February,” admitted Amond. “The squad size hindered us a little bit and maybe the distraction of the cup.

“But, all in all, I think it’s been a good season.

“A year ago the club was in very different circumstances and it’s come a long way in a very short space of time.

“So if the club keeps building in the way it is then who knows where we could be next year?

“You just look at the likes of Accrington and Wycombe and clubs like that and that’s what we have to aim to be.”

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And, with manager Michael Flynn publicly stating that he’s on the hunt for a 20-goal-a-season striker, Amond is targeting more goals next year.

Saturday’s strike was his 14th in 51 appearances for County and he also netted once for Hartlepool United before sealing his move to Rodney Parade last August.

“I was happy to end the season with another goal,” he said.

“The ball that Robbie [Willmott] put in was unbelievable and I’ve been quite lucky this season with some of the service I’ve been getting.

“I’m happy enough with my season – 15 goals is not bad. I should have had a couple more but hopefully I can get a few more next season.

“The aim is to score more next year. I probably should have hit 20 this year but next year I want to do that.

“I want to hit 20 next year. I want to be the main striker and score as many goals as I can for the club and hopefully get us closer to the play-offs and automatic promotion.”

Amond added: “I’m looking forward to recharging the batteries and going again.

“It’s another season ticked off and I’m going to enjoy the summer.

“I’m going to have a little break and go home to see my family before coming back for pre-season on June 28 – the countdown is already on.”